Third party electoral chartings

This gets at a question I have pondered over the years — can we work out a cycle of third party support and correlate it to… Anything? And I would try to take the graph back into the nineteenth century. The cycle is rough and either rough but there or so rough as to be meaningless.

There does appear an be and flow of high and low support — the logic dictates a sense that the third party burned the voting groups who turned to the third party, and so are now unwilling to try again. The parties act as they do to retain their control, so a few cycles down the road — we try again.

Third-Party Peaks: 2016, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1948, 1932, 1924 Third-Party Nadirs: (2020?), 2004, 1984, 1972, 1964, 1940, 1928

1992 – 2000 gives a good, if dwindling, bunched pile — perhaps the end of the cold war lead to more pronounced discontents, the figures of Perot and Nader and Buchanan serving the need for personalities to channel them. Hard to figure if the clump that accrues from a Libertarian Party that seems to have established a percentage benchmark and the personality of Jill Stein come off as an echo of that 92-00 cycle, or are new phenomena.

And I guess an electorate that may go with a third party got what they needed in 1964 with the landslides loser candidates of Goldwater and McGovern — no need for segregationist or at he conservative figure on one side and we have a Vietnam war protest vote for the other.

Much of it is just ballot access. I gather everyone was effectively shut out in 1952 – 1964. After all, the high number for 1948 is buttressed considerably by Dixie state ballot maneuvers — Thurmond was the Democratic candidate in a few states, with Truman not on it. If not for that, we are just staring at Henry Wallace’s two and a half percent.

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